December 13, 2000
News Release 00-152
Inv. No. 332-423

ITC TO INVESTIGATE THE IMPACT OF EUROPEAN UNION POLICIES ON THE GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS OF U.S. HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched a general factfinding investigation on the effects of European Union (EU) policies on the competitive position of the U.S. and the EU horticultural products sectors.

The investigation, The Effects of EU Policies on the Competitive Position of the U.S. and EU Horticultural Products Sectors (Inv. No. 332-423), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received November 16, 2000. In the request letter, the USTR noted that it is preparing for negotiations in the World Trade Organization on agricultural trade reforms.

As requested, the ITC's report will provide information on EU policies and programs that may enhance the competitiveness of EU producers and exporters, including domestic support commitments and export subsidies the EU reports to the WTO, the EU entry price system, the producer organization system, and EU tariffs. The investigation will describe policies and programs and will analyze the extent to which such programs affect the competitive conditions between EU producers and exporters and U.S. producers. As requested, the ITC's investigation will focus on the following specific horticultural products: citrus (including fresh oranges, fresh clementines, fresh lemons, and orange juice), deciduous fruit (including fresh apples, fresh pears, fresh peaches, and processed peaches), dried prunes, tree nuts (including almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts), tomatoes (including fresh tomatoes and processed tomatoes), and wine. The USTR request letter includes an attachment with specific HTS headings or subheadings for the products under investigation.

The ITC report will:

The ITC will submit its report to the USTR by December 1, 2001. A portion of the report will be confidential.

To assist in identifying issues affecting the sectors under investigation, the Commission requested that interested parties provide preliminary written comments by 5 p.m. on March 1, 2001. Preliminary written comments should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation on April 26, 2001, at 9:30 a.m. at the ITC Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 12, 2001, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For hearing-related information, contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-1806.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record in this investigation. Written statements (one original and 14 copies) should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 11, 2001. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated December 12, 2000, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1806.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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